It is not uncommon to hear from some Frenchie owners that they have a problem with their dog’s snapping and biting.
This is a tendency in French Bulldogs that stems out of their assertive & loyal character while also being of a small size.
A Frenchie owner needs to understand their dog’s temperament and psychological needs.
If they do not, their dog might bite at other dogs, people or children when confronted with an uneasy situation.
To deal with this hostile behavior, you must first learn about why a dog shows aggression and train accordingly.
5 Common Reasons Why Your French Bulldogs Is Biting
There are many situations within a dog’s life where they might need to show some aggression and assertiveness.
Dogs do this to find their place within a packing order or to defend themselves.
However, over aggression in French Bulldogs can make owners give up on living with and raising such a problematic dog.
Let us first understand why a dog may show aggressive behavior.
#1. Over Excitement
Dogs may snap or nip at people or other dogs if they get too overexcited.
Whenever you have guests in the house or meet a dog while out on a walk, does your Frenchie keep jumping up and down excitedly?
Frenchies have a tough and strong muscular body, so getting hit or nipped at by an overexcited jumping Frenchie is not a nice situation.
It can also get very dangerous if a child is around.
If your Frenchie is not well socialized and seldom meets new people and dogs, they can get over excited and play rough.
They might have learned how to play rough from other dogs or from rough play with people.
People may get hurt and other dogs might snap back and cause injury to your dog too.
So, it is important to provide a calm atmosphere and invest in socializing your Frenchie as much as possible.
French Bulldogs are very loyal and loving towards their owner.
If an owner does not have an assertive character, their Frenchie might feel the need to protect its owner from any uncomfortable situations.
If you have a French Bulldog, it is important to show leadership towards your dog.
You can show authority over dogs by your posture and body language, calm but assertive tone of voice and a consistent home training regime.
Make sure you are the top dog in your house and your Frenchie will feel secure enough not to feel the need to protect you.
Frenchies have a stubborn and assertive character.
They have the character of a big dog in a small dog’s body.
There are times when the Frenchie forgets its small size and tries to dominate other bigger dogs.
The bigger dog will want no-nonsense of course, and that is how biting or snapping problems may arise.
You can avoid this behavior, by socializing your dog and expose it to situations where he is not the top dog around.
As an owner, you should also make sure you remain to give an assertive vibe so your dog does not feel the need to dominate the others around him.
As your French Bulldog grows into an adult, its character and behavior around people and other dogs will be forming.
A French Bulldog that is always kept at home or on your lap will grow to be scared of everyone and anything.
This fear can cause behavioral problems, namely, fear aggression and can cause your Frenchie to bite at other people or dogs.
Make sure you provide structured socializing time from a young age.
Take your pup to friends who have good dogs and also to dog parks.
Monitor every interaction so you can immediately correct any bad behavior.
Make sure to provide your dog with ample opportunity to socialize and learn proper dog behavior from other dogs too.
If your French Bulldog is usually great around people but is suddenly trying to bite everyone that is getting close to it, you should check whether your dog might be in pain.
Dogs that are in pain can react by biting someone that gets close and tries to touch them.
You should get worried, especially if your dog is showing this behavior towards you as well!
If you suspect that your dog might be in pain, a visit to the vet is a must.
Training Your French Bulldog Not To Bite
As already seen, there are several situations when your French Bulldog can turn to bite as a solution for an uneasy situation.
Most cases are solved with continuous socialization, good leadership and sufficient exercise to allow your Frenchie to let off steam.
There are also specific phases in your French Bulldog’s life where biting needs to be addressed and corrected.
• Nip Aggression No More
Most French Bulldog puppies will tend to try to play and explore new surroundings and people by using their mouth.
Puppies will bite and chew your hand or things for fun but this behavior should not be encouraged.
When your puppy grows up, his biting and chewing habit can grow out of control and will not be so cute after all!
So, mouthing needs to be nipped in the bud.
This behavior needs to be redirected.
With proper consistent training, your dog will outgrow the annoying and inappropriate behavior in time.
The key on how to train your French Bulldog not to bite is to choose one training technique and apply it consistently.
Puppies learn best with a single technique that is repeated.
• Teething Phase
All puppies pass through a teething phase.
This is usually between five and six weeks of age or slightly later.
It is a time when their baby teeth start to fall out and adult teeth start to emerge.
Their gums may be a bit sore so your Frenchie will start to bite and chew on things to rub its gums.
This is not a bad behavior in itself.
All you need to do is redirect this teething to a more appropriate toy.
You can buy special teething dog toys and chews at the pet shop.
Every time you see your puppy chewing inappropriate things, all you need to do is give your puppy this teething toy.
Praise and reward him when he starts biting on his teething toy.
• Mouthing While Playing
Young puppies are very playful and this is the best time to create a bond with your puppy.
It is also a great time to train your puppy not to bite or nip while playing.
When you play with your Frenchie, do not allow its teeth to be anywhere near your hand or skin.
If the puppy tries to play bite your hand, retract your hand quickly and make a high pitched yelp.
Even if the teeth have not really hurt you, turn your back on the dog and make whining noises as if you are nursing an injured hand.
Make it obvious that you are not happy and stop playing.
When you see that your dog has calmed down, you can continue playing.
Praise your pup for its gentle actions.
Repeat consistently and your pup will soon get the idea that playing time will stop if he bites or nips.
Continuous Training As Your Frenchie Grows Older
When training your French Bulldog, you should asses the reason why your dog is acting aggressive and act accordingly.
When things start to get out of hand, use a firm and strong voice to show him that his behavior is not acceptable.
However, never scream or yell at him because it will only make your Frenchie more excited or scared which can make matters worse.
If your Frenchie does not listen to your command, instantly remove them from the situation.
Give them a small timeout and try to calm them down.
Keep calm and allow them back to the situation once they are calmer.
They will soon learn that they must contain their excitement or anger if they wish to be included and have fun.
In all cases, providing strong leadership, socializing your dog and exercising it sufficiently is the key to control and completely remove your dog’s biting habit.
If this problem persists, you can also consult a professional dog trainer or dog behaviorist.
There are online programs by certified dog trainers that teach you how to train and manage your dog’s bad behavior.
We recommend Brain Training For Dogs by Adrienne Farricelli.
French Bulldogs are the cutest and most clownish thing ever!
However, you must not confuse rough play, biting and nipping as playfulness.
Their small size should not deceive you.
Their bite can cause as much damage as a big dog.
So, address this behavior immediately and consistently train your Frenchie not to bite.
By providing great leadership and plenty of socialization opportunities in a controlled environment, your Frenchie will thrive and become a well-behaved dog that does not bite in uneasy situations.
If you get this right, you will be a happy owner of a very happy French Bulldog!